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Resort, townhome hosts worry for bookings during pandemic

NOW: Resort, townhome hosts worry for bookings during pandemic

SAINT JOSEPH, Mich. -- As the pandemic wears on, it's meaning more and more canceled vacations.

That's tough news for rental property owners everywhere, especially in Berrien County.

Jackie Flanagan of St. Joseph has only owned and rented out her town-home for a year, but is worried about getting reservations this vacation season.

“It’s just such an unknown with this virus that’s affecting so many,” Flanagan said.

“I’ve been self quarantining, our family has, and the unit is cleaned thoroughly through every renter.”

Flanagan uses popular lodging site AirBnB which is now allowing customers and hosts to cancel any reservations made before travel advisories went into place.

“We had someone that had booked it for their child’s graduation from a local university,” Flanagan said. “And with the graduation ceremonies canceled, they (had to) cancel their booking and we let them out of that.”

St. Jospeh area realtor Chelley Bussey said she has had to adjust as well.

“We’re all adapting to (coronavirus),” Bussey said.

“So I think now we’re seeing a lot more showings online. We’re doing everything virtually. Everything we can, online while we can’t get out. But I’m optimistic things will improve.”

Harbor Shores Golf Course in St. Joseph is due to host the Senior PGA Championship in late May. The PGA hasn't yet said if the event will be pushed back, but with the British Open golf tournament as well as Wimbledon getting the axe, things don’t look favorable.

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